Tag Archives: Turkey Mountain

Our World – A Run on Turkey Mountain

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Saturday morning started out cool with a chance of rain. I thought about putting up the outside Christmas lights on house but I don’t like doing that in the rain. I don’t mind running in a light rain though. I have the gear for it. So after dropping the kid off at his Improv Comedy class I headed to Turkey Mountain. There was hardly anyone there.

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It was kind of a dreary gray day, just the way I like them, and so off I went with a vague desire to do about five miles plus or minus and take some new trails. The big well used trails are fine but I love the fainter seldom used ones also. As you can see there were lots of dry leaves on the ground. The squirrels were having a field day running around in them making a racket.

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I take it as a point of honor to never (well almost never) turning back on a trail because it disappears or requires climbing up or down a cliff. This trail ended up requiring it. It is at the far north end of Turkey Mountain and I had to climb down a steep hill and then climb back up out on the other side of the draw. Oh well. Slows me down but I’m not in it for the speed.

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I saw only one bicyclist and very few other people the whole time I was out there.

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I guess that somebody lost their camo hat and some other person picked it up and stuck it on a tree. I always wonder who besides a hunter needs camo gear. When I’m out in the woods, I want to be seen.

Being out in the woods in nature is a great escape. Maybe I’ll do the lights on Sunday. The Cowboys aren’t playing you know.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Turkey N Taturs 10K Trail Race on Turkey Mountain

Sunday morning, TATUR (“Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners”) held their “Turkey N Taturs” races,10K, 25K, and 50K all on Turkey Mountain. I ran the 10K which for this crowd is like a fun run.

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The start was cool, sunny, and dry, perfect for running.

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The course was a good mixture of flat and level, hills, rocks, and roots. It had a great rhythm to it. Being Sunday morning there were not too many other people out on the mountain.

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I ran about half the race by myself and the last half with a friend who had about the same pace as I did. Running with somebody makes the race a lot easier. I tend to go faster when I’m with somebody.

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One of the great things about trail races is the aid stations. I had a shot of some sort of liquor at this one. I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. It kind of stuck with me for a while.

As you can see the course wound all over the mountain. The 25K and 50K guys looped over the east side to get their distances in. The 50K was two laps of the 25K route.

And a good time was had by all. Last I checked I finished dead last out of 32 men who had finished by then. But hey, I beat everybody who slept in that day right?

A big thank you to fine folks at  TATUR and the many volunteers that it takes to put on an event like this and to my fellow racers.

Turkey Mountain Skywatch – Eastern Sky at Sunset

Turkey Mountain Skywatch 2 - Topaz

This is a cell phone photo from the lower yellow trail on Turkey Mountain looking roughly northeast across the Arkansas River across south Tulsa. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes the best view at sunset is not towards the sun. I love how the river is reflecting some of the pink in the sky.

Summer is rapidly coming to a close. The temperatures are a bit lower, the humidity is much less, and the mornings are very nice.  Autumn is my favorite season in Tulsa.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

New Beginnings – Logan Starts College Today

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We were trying to figure out what to do Sunday when Logan announced that he would like to go hiking on Turkey Mountain.  It only took a few microseconds for the words to hit my ear and my response didn’t even go to my brain “Lets go!” I said.

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It was a change for Logan. He has a couple of other big changes coming up. For one he is starting college today at a local community college. He is starting part time. So we are not photographing decorated dorm rooms and new room mates and all that. We are starting kind of slow to see how it goes and get him used to it and he’ll live at home.

Not everybody of course goes “off” to college. I graduated from high school in Albuquerque and went to the University of New Mexico and stayed at home. Suited me!! I went off to the Permian Basin of west Texas to work as a roustabout in the oilfields during the summer. I loved the work but I loved getting home also. I think Logan is a home body also. Eventually he want to get a job and get a place of his own. Hopefully not too far away.

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We found someone camping illegally on the Mountain

The other change for Logan is that he is starting a work skills class at Goodwill Inc sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services (“DRS”). Its going to be several hours a day and they are going to learn about all the various things a person has to know in order to have a job. We have been very impressed with both Goodwill and DRS. They are very nice people and we think this will be great for Logan. It will be in a small group type environment and they will all learn together. 

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Anyways say a small prayer if you would for our son as he starts this new things in his life. He is very nervous about it.

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go…”

Joshua 1:9

Wordless Wednesday – Turkey Mountain Vista

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And now, the not wordless part

Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain is not that big, two miles north to south and a mile, maybe, east to west. You can generally hear traffic in most areas but there are lots of trails and if the weather is a little hot, or a little cold, or a little wet or whatever the number of people on the trails plunges, especially a quarter mile down the trail (I am not exagerating..) And if one gets to the little visited areas like the northwest segment it is easy not to see anybody.

I was on such a blissful trek last Wednesday when I happened on this vista that made it look like the mountain went on forever. I love the feeling of feeling lost and depth in the photo. Even though I know I had been up and down that trail many times before.

I love Turkey Mountain, I have been there dozens of times and still find something new every time I am there. I can get up there and just cruise along and don’t worry about a thing. Except snakes, lots of people have encountered lots of snakes, especially copperheads, and I worry about them a little but I don’t let them stop me.

So what about you? Where is your favorite place to get away from it all.

Turkey Mountain Trails Added to National Trails System

National Trails System Logo

Exciting news to many of us here in Oklahoma. The National Park Service announced the designation of Turkey Mountain’s Red, Blue, and Yellow trails (about 7 miles total) as part of the National Recreation Trails and will be added to the National Trails System. The announcement comes just in time for National Trails Day.

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No, this doesn’t mean that the Feds are coming in to take over the trails, the designation recognizes existing trails built and maintained by others. The National Park Service will provide special trail markers and add it to their web site. The main thing is that the designation provides additional credibility to those who are trying to get grants for Turkey Mountain. 

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Kudos to the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition who led the effort behind the scenes to get the designation. UWC is quite an organization. They started last year in response to a tone deaf effort by the City of Tulsa and Simon Properties to build a cheesy outlet mall on Turkey Mountain. Thanks to the efforts of TUWC and other organizations, the community rose up in opposition and Simon is proceeding on building the mall at a more appropriate location. I was amazed, do you know how many times Oklahoman’s are successful in opposing bad development ideas? Very few times is the answer.

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So this is great news but the preservation of Turkey Mountain is still a process more than event. Steps are continuing to be made by both private and public entities. The citizens of Tulsa passed a bond issue to provide funds for the purchase of the proposed Simon Malls site. After the close on that purchase, the River Parks Authority, who administer the land, installed new cable and post fencing to keep vehicles off that property. The vehicles were tearing the trails up and some of our fellow citizens were dumping their trash.

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So we have recognition from the Feds which helps but Turkey Mountain still needs lots of support from the community.

Turkey Mountain Map

Read the Tulsa World Article on the designation

Download a map and check the trails for yourself.

Check out the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, get involved.

 

Weekend Reflections – Lake Logan

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A cloudy afternoon, Lake Logan at the West Side YMCA on Turkey Mountain in Tulsa, Oklahoma

I was doing my Wednesday night run on Turkey Mountain last Wednesday night. I call it run even though I stop a lot to take photographs. I took 79 of them Wednesday. I had my trusty weatherproof, everything proof, Nikon AW110 point and shoot with me set on “Auto” mode and I noticed after taking one particular pic that a menu option popped up offering instant edits. So I decided to see where that took me and it gave me a choice of six filters. So I experimented with it and this is an example of the “Toy Camera” filter. I kind of like it as a variation. Luckily the camera saves the original image along with the filtered image so I can save myself if need be.

I’m looking forward to the day when cameras have just as good a filters as our phones and ipods do along with wifi connectability so one can buy and upgrade filters, as well as upload our photos directly to our various social media and photo storage sites. I have two cameras that have wifi compatibility but only with cell phones and setting up and maintaing the connection is time consuming and chews up battery life at an alarming rate and doesn’t work that great.

So, does your camera have some hidden features that you found?

I am linking with Weekend Reflections

Skywatch Friday – The Beginning of Snake Season

Pavillion on Turkey Mountain Topaz Restyle

This is the sky on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain late one afternoon last week. We have had so many beautiful blue skies so much lately it was nice to see some clouds. Clouds mean rain and rain is generally good. I saw my first snake of the season literally about 10 seconds after I took this photo. He was a little tiny guy so I wasn’t too worried about him. After the weather warmed up a few weeks ago some of my trail running friends posted photos of the first copperheads of the season. I’ve seen lots of snakes on the mountain but never a copperhead. I intend to keep it that way.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday today.

Skywatch Friday – Fighting Sisters

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This shot is from a few weeks ago during a family hike on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. I thought this pair of ragged but tough trees looked a like fighting sisters really going after it. Or maybe they are dancing? But they look too angry to be dancing. What do you think? And yep, there is a sky behind them.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday today.

Turkey Mountain Rainbow

Turkey Mountain Rainbow - Topaz Glow - Mysterious at 58pct

Last week I was running the trails in an on again/off again rain on Turkey Mountain with a few people including one who like me just has to stop to take a photo every now and then. She noticed this rainbow off to the east and I used my cell phone to take a pic but the colors were not as bright in the image as what I could see right in front of me. So I’ve used Topaz Glow to pull out the color some to make it more like what that evening.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday